A Painted Ship…

“Day after day, day after day,

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.”

Unlike the Ancient Mariner, we were quite busy this weekend. We also bear no ill-will towards the albatross. Ryan’s dad Joe came down for the weekend to give us a hand, and I started cracking the whip early Saturday morning.

The beatings will continue until morale improves

And so the cast of characters was set…



First step was to degrease the hull which we accomplished through innovative, off-label chemical use (I opened the wrong bottle). The idea is to remove any trace of the chemicals used in the original construction of the boat, which can hinder paint-adhesion. Fortunately, it seems the alternative solvent we used worked just fine. Next up the hull got sanded with 320 grit…

Then the boat was degreased once more. Next up was the primer coat, which helps to fill in the cracked gelcoat and makes the topcoat stick better.

Here’s a timelapse, thanks new iPhone OS!

The primer coat had to cure for 6 hours before applying the topcoat so we grabbed a few brews across the creek at Merrior.

And then it was go time.

Pardon me, but did you happen to see a badger-hair brush lying about?

Two-part polyurethane paint is applied by a method called “roll and tip.” The roller (me) applies a strip of paint to the hull and then the tipper (Ryan) blends the wet-edges by lightly running a high-quality brush horizontally across the strip of just-applied paint. Meanwhile Joe was keeping our paint topped up and mixing the next batch- which includes measuring out part A and part B of the paint by weight and then adding an unspecified amount of paint thinner until it looks right. All while translating milliliters to ounces to fractions of tablespoons. Thanks Joe.

The work went on quickly, it took us only about 45 minutes to paint the whole boat. The first coat has to sit for 24 hours, but no sanding is required if it’s re-coated within 48 hours.  We called it a day and headed out Sunday afternoon for what we anticipated to be a quick second coat. Unfortunately, one of the rollers had left flecks of fiber in a section of the topsides and the paint had dried a little funny in spots- necessitating another round of sanding and degreasing. Ryan’s Uncle Brooks came by to check things out, and was promptly handed some sandpaper and told to get to work. Thanks Brooks!

We got the second coat on just prior to dark, and while not perfect, I think it looks pretty durn sharp.

Many thanks to Joe and Brooks- we got a lot done this weekend and could not have done it without your help!

Finally, we have decided upon a name for our boat… but we’re not telling. Here’s a hint:

Paint Prep

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather this weekend…

Got a few boxes of 2-part polyurethane topside paint and its associated solvents, primers, and thinners. In addition to looking boss, 2 part paints have an excellent level of protection for aging gelcoat. I’ve got some pretty high expectations for this stuff- apparently it results in a “better-than-new” finish, as such I’ve been doing my due diligence by reading up and getting the prep work underway.

Don Casey’s book is pretty much my Bible these days. The Epifanes literature is a bit more like Cosmo for boats.

Finished fairing the topsides, unfortunately my tired, aching arms weren’t the only casualties…

So while I waited on replacement parts from Bosch (who were quite helpful BT dubs), I cut out the last big rotten section of deck and got a few layers of glass down.

Mostly I’m getting excited for this coming weekend. Ryan’s dad Joe is coming down to give us a hand…Hopefully next post will include some pics of the fancy new paint job!